[STOP] Wasting Money on Your Cell Phone
Your smartphone bill is probably one of the major monthly expenses in your budget. The average smartphone user spends $90 per month, while lucky iPhone owners spend about $111, according to a survey by Cowan and Co. Here are some tips for paring down that bill and keeping it under control…
How to Avoid Wasting Money on Cell Phones
First, consider getting your cellular service from a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), not directly from a big network provider like Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, or Sprint. MVNOs buy service in bulk from these carriers; often, they pass on to customers savings of up to 50%. It’s exactly the same network, just re-branded and re-sold.
Some of the more popular MVNOs include Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless, H20 Wireless, MetroPCS, Net10, Republic Wireless, Straight Talk, Ting, Tracfone and Walmart Family Plan. You can find a much longer list of MVNOs, with links to their websites at BestMVNO.com You'll need to pick one that's compatible with your phone and has a good signal where you use it most often.
Next, buy your phone with one lump sum of hard-saved cash, if you possibly can. Avoid finance charges hidden in those “easy monthly payments” advertised by phone sellers. It’s hard to determine who offers the best deal on a given phone because offers are constantly being changed and their complex terms are all different. Just shop around and compare plans and prices carefully.
You might think your local Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile store is the best place to go when looking for a new phone. But it might be the worst. My article The Worst Place to Buy a Mobile Phone has some tips on where to find better deals when shopping for a new mobile gadget.
Don’t throw your old phone into the junk drawer when you get a new one. You’re probably not going to use it again. Instead, trade it in for cash or credit on a new phone, or sell it to a third-party phone refurbisher or broker. Gazelle and others are large trading sites that pay more money for used phones than carriers do. See my article HOWTO: Sell Your Cell Phone (or Other Gadget) Be sure to do a factory reset on your phone before selling it, to erase all personal data that you may have on it.
More Money-Saving Tips for Mobile Phones
Maybe you don't need a new phone. Every mall seems to have at least one "phone fixit" kiosk where you can get a cracked screen or a broken charging port replaced for much less than the cost of a new phone. My wife's Samsung Galaxy would no longer charge after getting wet, but the phone was otherwise functional.. I verified that the battery was okay by charging it in another phone. Even a used Galaxy S4 was more than we wanted to spend, but a guy in the mall replaced the charging port for $45 in 15 minutes. Replacing the screen will cost around $80-$100, but you can buy do-it-yourself kits for much less.
Consider a family plan even if you do not have a family, strictly speaking. Just as many cash-strapped Millennials are sharing houses, many more share cell phone service plans as “families.” Friends on family plans can save up to 60% versus buying individual service plans.
Downsizing your data plan can make a big difference in your monthly bill. Most users do not come close to using up their gigabytes. Some cell plans let you roll unused bytes into the next month’s allotment, but several large carriers do not. Republic Wirelesss gives you cash credits for any unused bytes. Google's Project Fi also rolls over your unused data from one month to the next, and has some nifty features that might be of interest.
Shop around for the extras. Power cables, batteries, protective cases, earbuds, and other accessories should be bought at Walmart or online, never in a dedicated brick-and-mortar store operated by your mobile carrier.. Prices there are grossly inflated.
And finally, don't buy device insurance. I just wrote about the scam of electronics insurance. Short story: you don’t need device insurance, and nobody is selling a good plan.
What’s your favorite way to save money on phones every month, or when buying or selling a phone? Share this article with friends, and then post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 6 Jun 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [STOP] Wasting Money on Your Cell Phone (Posted: 6 Jun 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved